Impact of Covid2019 pandemic on print media & how ad revenues are affected

Covid2019 is an addition to the already eroding industry

Covid2019 is the most dreaded word right now and rightly so. As we know, it hasn't only claimed many lives but the livelihood of many too. While it has been an eye-opener at many levels, it has also changed the economy. It looks like the 'new normal' is here to stay and to keep up with it, we must evolve. 

Print media had its perks and luxury for a very long time before it got hit by a virtual pandemic - digitalization. Covid2019 is an addition to the already eroding industry. However, when we talk of ad revenues, Coronavirus has affected every possible industry and print media is no exception. Ad revenues have dropped not only for print but also for digital, OOH and every other possible medium. The reason is the paucity of funds. The financial crunch has urged brands and businesses to limit their spends and advertisements are the last avenues where they will place their buck. Who will they advertise for? Who will buy? The financial crunch funnels down to the consumer level too. Even if you print where are the vendors and street sellers who sell your magazines going to come from? Lot of them make it to the “migrant labourer” category.

The lockdown has everyone at home scrolling through their phone screens all day. If at all brands want to place their money, the best bet is digital at the moment. While print as a medium struggles to stay afloat, this pandemic could result in a big boost for digital platforms in the future. 

When we look at magazines, newspapers, catalogues, or any other vertical of print, there's no way to reach the consumers and readers. With everything under lockdown, how does one get access to these? The only smart way to deal with the current situation is to bank on digital versions of your magazine copies and newspapers and think of innovative ways to reach your audience via the internet. We have been issuing digital editions in PDF formats ourselves since readers would not necessarily pay for it. This is also to get them lured to the habit of the convenience of reading through ipads, smartphones or laptops. 

While 'Where tech meets lifestyle' is what we stand for at Exhibit, we could evolve ourselves with the extension of the same thought - 'Where lifestyle leads tech'. Technology needs to evolve in accordance with the current lifestyle of consumers. This isn't going to last forever but this has certainly made way for a lasting change. 

The show must go on. But, you must know where to play the showreel!

(The author is publisher & chief editor of Exhibit Magazine & BBC Top Gear India. Thr views expressed are his own and may not subscribe to them)

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